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Pronouns: Are You Using the Right Ones?


Consider the following scenario:

Sam, a 2L trans woman who uses “they/them” pronouns, answers a question and the professor responds by asking the rest of the class, “Do you agree with his argument?” Sam quietly stares down at their desk, hoping not to draw attention to themself. It was an innocuous follow up question during a typical seminar, yet Sam felt “othered” because of their professor’s misgendering (using a pronoun that doesn’t align with a person’s identity).

The use of correct pronouns has grown to be a focal point of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies over the last several years. It’s a simple courtesy that fosters inclusion and acceptance, especially in the classroom and workplace where many of us spend the majority of our time, yet many people are still unaware of the impact it can have or downright resistant to making the change. Berkley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice recently published a great guide of best practices for trans inclusion, and we encourage everyone to take a look so that all classrooms, offices, and everywhere else are safe and welcoming for all people.


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